Vegan Sources of Calcium and Tips for Best Absorption! (Dairy Free)

Vegan Sources of Calcium

The Role of Calcium for our Health

Calcium is a mineral that is responsible for building and maintaining bones and teeth, blood clotting, the transmission of nerve impulses, and the regulation of the heart’s rhythm. 

About 99% of the calcium in our body is stored in the bones and teeth, while the other 1% is found in our blood and other tissues.

 

Some Symptoms You May Experience If You're Calcium Deficient:

  • Poor bone density
  • easy fracturing of the bones
  • osteoporosis
  • weak and brittle nails
  • Tooth Decay
  • Kidney stones
  • muscle spasms.
  • muscle cramps

 

The Recommended Daily Amount

1–3 year old - 500 mg    

4-8 year old - 800 mg

9-18 year old - 1300 mg

19-50 year old - 1000 mg

51-older - 1200 mg

 

Vegan Foods High In Calcium

  1. Kale - 1 cup is 94mg
  2. bok choy - 1 cup is 158mg
  3. Broccoli - 1 cup 62mg
  4. mustard greens - 1 cup is 152mg
  5. turnip greens - 1 cup is 249mg
  6. Collards - 1 cup is 266mg
  7. Soy Beans - 1 cup is 175mg
  8. Almonds - 1/4 cup  is 94mg
  9. Quinoa - 1 cup is 31.5mg
  10. Oats - 1 cup is 84.3mg
  11. Navy Beans - 1 cup is 126
  12. White Beans - 1 cup 161mg
  13. Brown Rice - 1 cup is 50mg
  14. Blackstrip molasses - 1 tbsp is 135mg
  15. Fortified soy milk - 8 ounces has 200-300mg
  16. Tofu - 4 ounces  has 200-420mg
  17. Fortified cereals - anywhere from around 250 - 1000mg
  18. Oranges - 1 cup is 50mg
  19. Dried figs - 10 of them have 140mg

 

Tips for Best Absorption

(1) A molecule called Oxalate inhibits the absorption of calcium in some foods. So foods that are high-oxalate, such as spinach and swiss chard, are not great sources of calcium despite being a seemingly high source, because they are not absorbed well into our body.  You don’t need to avoid these foods, they are still healthy! But they shouldn’t be your go-to sources for highly absorbable calcium!

(2) Vitamin D + Calcium is better than calcium alone.

(3) Not only are dark leafy greens great sources of highly absorbably calcium, but many are also good sources of Vitamin K, which is good for bone health too!

 

Dairy Is Not a Good Source of Healthy, Absorbably Calcium

Since dairy is an acidic source of animal protein, our bodies will leach from our bones to help process it, essentially making the benefits of the calcium obsolete. Which makes sense, since the countries with the highest amounts of dairy consumption, such as North America, are also the places where more people have osteoporosis. 

 

Get Your Calcium Whichever Way Works Best For You and Your Lifestyle!

Dairy free sources of calcium are superior for absorption and our health! If you find that you won't eat the foods listed above on a regular basis, it's best to consider taking a calcium supplement! There's nothing wrong with taking a supplement if you know that you personally won't get enough from food sources. The important thing is just that you get calcium in your diet!

 "Eat Kind Be Strong"

Cheers!
Anne-Marie 'AMC' Campbell

sources of reference: veganhealth.org, ucsfhealth.org, vrg.org & pcrm.org

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